GET A SKI LIFT WITH THESE 5 DESIGN SKI RESORTS
We just shared three hotel openings for the holidays and pretty soon (crazy, but true) it’ll be time to look ahead at what 2017 will have in store for us – aside from our annual gathering at the end of June, of course. But before we jump ahead to summer, let’s talk snow, (après-)ski, fresh mountain air, and the ability to enjoy all those things in (very) contemporary surroundings. Wondering where to take that ski break this winter? Here are five contemporary ski resort options – on three continents no less – to consider.
1. Chetzeron, Crans-Montana, Switzerland
Once the cable car station of the same name, Chetzeron sits high in the Swiss Alps at 2,112 metres in the Crans-Montana ski region. Look south and you’ll face the Matterhorn and Mont-Blanc, and yes that pool is heated year-round (there is also an infra-red sauna and steam room for proper warming up).
Just 16 rooms and suites are inside, all with hardwood floors and cosy window seats to soak in the above-the-treeline sunrise and sunset views. There are two restaurants, lobby bar and library, TV lounge, and meditation room, alongside the usual ski facilities you’d expect.
2. The Chedi, Andermatt, Switzerland
Staying in Switzerland for a moment, we don’t have to tell you that there is an abundance of fancy ski resorts. While W Hotels made headlines a few years back for its arrival in ultra-established Verbier, Egyptian billionaire Samih Sawiris decided to take a different approach and pump $1.2 billion into the fairly under-the-radar town of Andermatt.
The different approach didn’t stop there: Jean-Michel Gathy was brought in to design an Alpine-meets-Asian complex under GHM Hotels’ The Chedi brand (more Bali than Bern until then, as brands go). There are 105 rooms and suites and facilities galore, including a 2,400 sq m spa complex with indoor and outdoor pools.
3. Amangani, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, United States
Though the Aman brand is also more likely to conjure up images of white sand beaches and exotic locations (see Amanera and Amanzoe for example), far from any coast there is Amangani, in the Wyoming wilderness of Grand Teton National Park. Here as well, there is a heated lap pool with some pretty serious scenery as a backdrop.
Needless to say, everything is possible here: (heli) skiing, dog sled tours, snowmobiling, you name it. Soothingly minimal design features Oklahoma sandstone columns and Pacific redwood beams; 40 suites all have fireplaces and outdoor space.
Prefer Europe? Aman le Mélézin will reopen on December 16 in Courchevel 1850, following nine months of refurbishment, overhauling both rooms and suites and public areas.
4. Wiesergut Hotel, Hinterglemm, Austria
Look at the pared-back lobby of Wiesergut – in the Saalbach-Hinterglemm region near Salzburg – and you wouldn’t think the hotel was born from an estate that dates back to the 14th century. It was, but did undergo a major transformation to become what it is today, including the addition of a low-slung glass extension with floor-to-ceiling windows and (not visible in the depth of winter) grass-covered roof.
Run by the family that has been farming the land for generations, there are just 24 suites, all with outdoor space and some with fireplace and freestanding bathtub. If you can tear yourself away, outside you’ll find the country’s largest ski area, with slopes totalling 270km.
5. Zaborin Ryokan, Niseko, Hokkaido, Japan
Looking for something a bit more unusual? Hardcore skiers / snowboarders rave about the magical powder in Niseko, the Japanese ski resort on the island of Hokkaido (almost 50ft of snow falls every winter). Zaborin is a traditional Japanese ryokan (guesthouse), that translates to ‘a place among the trees to sit and forget’.
There are 15 villas, each with private indoor and outdoor bath with water from the ryokan’s private onsen. You have a choice between ‘Washitsu’ bedding (Japanese futon and tatami mats) or ‘Yoshitsu’ bedding (a Western-style bed). We’d happily sit among the trees here and forget about daily life for a while.
[Photos: Courtesy of hotels mentioned]